The Mental Health Provider Privilege in the \u3ci\u3eWake of Jaffe v. Redmond\u3c/i\u3e


Many of the revisions to article V of the Uniform Rules of Evidence involved stylistic, nonsubstantive changes. In particular, all language was made gender neutral. The most substantial revision was to Rule 503, formerly titled Physician and Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege. This revision broadened the scope of the privilege to include a general mental health provider privilege, in accord with the trend in the states and the U.S. Supreme Court\u27s decision in Jaffee v. Redmond. In Jaffee, the Court recognized for the first time a federal psychotherapist-patient privilege and extended the privilege to confidential communications with a licensed social worker in the course of psychotherapy. In addition, most of the states have adopted some form of a licensed social worker privilege. This privilege usually is not a subpart of the psychotherapist or physician privilege Since the states do not uniformly define the type of provider whom the privilege covers, Uniform Rule 503 provides flexible definitions and a general mental health provider privilege in order to subsume the range of privileges offered by the states. In addition to expanding the privilege itself, Rule 503 was amended to provide five additional exclusions to the privilege

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